Picture of Mini Alcohol Stove.
This is a tutorial on how to make a Mini Alcohol Stove!, which is pocket sized so can be taken anywhere with you. This is a great item to have when, hiking camping or just to have to add to your collection of DIY items!, We hope you enjoy making this Alcohol stove as much as we did! Enjoy!
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Step 1: Step 1.

Picture of Step 1.
Materials you will need ...
1. Aluminium cans x2. (empty)
2. Some fibre glass.
3. Scissors.
4. Sharpie Marker.
5. Ruler.
6. Thick book ( Preferably Argos catalogue, to rest pen on. )
7. Sharp knife.
8. Thumb tacks.

Step 2: Step 2.

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Now that you have all your Materials, Start by emptying the aluminium cans and washing them out thoroughly.

Step 3: Step 3.

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Now that you have emptied the can of all its discharge, Measure from the bottom of the can upwards, 1 Inch, Lean your Sharpie permanent marker on a book so that the line is straight all the way around the can. Now holding the pen in position, begin to spin the can around until a full line has occurred.

Step 4: Step 4.

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Now that you have your line drawn all around the can, Pierce the middle of the can with a knife and begin to work your way to the line with a pair of scissors. Try to be as accurate as possible at this point.

Step 5: Step 5.

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Now that you have cut down the line on both cans as accurately as possible, you should have something like this ... !

Step 6: Step 6.

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Now, On only one of the cans, You want to sand the paint off. You want to do this as well as possible! This will improve the look of your finished product!. This might be hard though as the can has lots of dints that are not visible when paint is aplied. So just do the best you can and remember not to sand to hard or you will put a hole in the aluminium.!
tangey5 years ago
i need to know what kind of alcohol every other thing is clear to me but i need to know wat alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol.
Sorry for the response 5 years after your initial comment.

R4Man18 tangey5 years ago
any will do but most like to use Denatured Alcohol for many reasons. its fairly cheap stuff. (From Another Instructable) Denatured alcohol is the best choice for most alcohol based camp stoves. This can usually be found in the paint section (as a paint thinner) of a hardware store, and seems to burn slightly hotter and cleaner than Heet. I don't know if this is found under this name outside of the U.S. In the U.S. "denatured" means "poisoned." This is regular alcohol that has had poison added to it so people can't drink it, thus it does not get the alcohol tax, making it cheaper. (Still runs roughly the same price as Heet though.) Wont link the instructable because its another way to do this.
In Australia, it's sold as Methylated Spirits, it's basically ethanol, with a little bit of methanol added, to make it undrinkable
roshen3 months ago
can I use kerosene instead of alcohol
What about sanding the can before you even open it. That way the pressure of the can will keep it from getting all dinged and dented. I have gorilla hands, so this was an issue for me.

'Oh no, another Bud Select! For science, foe science"
Great idea...
chornbeck1 year ago

do you pit over the stove or what

lunakid1 year ago
Why is the fiberglass needed? I like the idea (especially as I have a big bunch to get rid of, so a couple'a hundreds mini stoves and done...), but it would be nice to know if it also really makes any difference.
ilpug3 years ago
ok, cooking on fiberglass insulation is a terrible idea. use cotton balls. Please.
Why? it doesn't burn, that's part of the attraction. it's inert, or close to it.
fines671 year ago
Wood cotin not work
c3ralki1l3r2 years ago
i put this stove over another stove to ight it and it had amazing flames!!! also if oyu use a 7up can its will burn into white :P.
A pic of the finished product would be nice.........
Xthinker3 years ago
I made this, thought it was really cool. My dad says mine looked really professional. We also tried it with lemon extract and it worked great! The instructions were really helpful. For anyone else making this, you really don't need the fiber-glass.
I think the fiberglass is used so that you don't spill flaming liquid everywhere if you do knock it over (some how) just an extra safety precaution.
ok so if i make one of these do i have to use alcohol if not what else can i use and instead of fiber glass what do i use? thanks if u can reply
Well like some of the other comments say, you can use cotton, but im guessing most fibers should work. Yes, you do have to use alcohol, but alcohol is in lots of things, hand sanatizer, extracts, and many other things, just check the ingredients.
this is to Xthinker
james4 Xthinker2 years ago
Yours does look professional.I bet you put time into that.
Ivan_2912 years ago
can u use a sponge
I built mine using 2 cokes. No fiberglass at all. Just 3 spoons of alchool and it burned for 40 minutes. The secret to start ir is to put an extra spoon of alchool below the stove (I used a metal dish for it) and burn it. After some seconds, the alchool inside the stove starts to vaporize, firing the stove and everything works well. Very simple and efficient. I will make another one and put everything on youtube, of course givving the credit. Thanks.
swimmer955 years ago
how do you lite it
try using... a lighter ¬_¬
That's funny.

Actually, these kind of stoves usually require a priming tray, or, a metal tray, with a lip, at least two inches wider than the stove. When you fill the stove and cover the filling holes with a penny, (important step! it may flame out,) add a bit of fuel (HEET works best, IMO,) and light the fuel in the tray with a lighter, a match, or a striking steel. It will flame up. Don't freak out; it will burn and boil the HEET. When this happens, the HEET will begin to evaporate quickly through the jets. The flame from the priming tray not only heats the fuel, but provides an ignition for the fuel coming through the jets.


Now, cook something! Actually, this stove is best for boiling water. So, rehydrate something for a warm, satisfying meal.
I am wondering the same thing!
DenseJungle (author)  swimmer955 years ago
lighter match bbq lighter
smelly2102 years ago
harry882 years ago
great project, i made mine with cotton at first but then found it best not to use anything inside it also it helps to enlarge the holes and put a coin on the fill hole. as well i found it will burn for approximately 10 minutes full on rubbing alcohol.
clax12273 years ago
sooo, would fiberglass or cotton work better?
use fibre glass.

due to the high temperatures inside the stove, the cotton will degrade into carbon. It will have no effect whatsoever. what you can doe is leave the fibreglass out. it works just as well.
myckro TTB19923 years ago
Actually cotton would work and not degrade into carbon... Since the flame only burns in the outside and the heat is not enough to burn the cotton... This is from personal experience... I used one for a whole week to cook on and then opened it....
TTB1992 myckro3 years ago
I actually found that out a few hours after i posted my comment, which completely contradicts my own statement.

So there you go: Use cotton!
Thanks Myckro!
Xthinker3 years ago
Word of advice,DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT tap the stove, if you don't have the insulator the alcohol will splash all over the place, it will catch on fire and burn like crazy. I cannot stress this enough DON'T touch the stove well it is burning.
ajena3 years ago
can we use normal vegetable oil or hair oil and also can we use cotton rather than using fibre glass
hey what other material can i use instead of fiber glass
Fibreglass ... what exactly is its purpose? How long will it last; i.e. after 'x' number of uses, it would need to be replaced or does it simply go on indefinitely doing what it does? Thanks for anticipated response - and for a great Instruct!!!
shadow073 years ago
Meth, denatured alcohol, methylated spirits, same thing. Nice project...
aarsenault13 years ago
You can also use Denatured alcohol.
ravenjoey443 years ago
what kind of fuel can you use? can you use rubbing alcohol or char coal lighter
wouldn't this wear out/break quickly? from my experience with throwing stuff into campfires, flames aren't good for the strength/shape of aluminum drink cans
day-veed4 years ago
Does anyone think that fine steel wool will work? I live in a tropical country so we don't need any insulation. (I think)
If you used steel wool with Alcohol it would would rust.
Try using an old t-shirt and then use the alcohol. It should work just fine.
eharris33 years ago
It would have been great if you climaxed the instructable with a picture of it actually working.
rfisher23 years ago
Made my Hobo burner last night, breakfast in the morning. Eggs, chopped potatoes, and sausage links. Made the resovoir a lil larger for more fuel, harder to light but once its going, its a burner. Thanks for this instructable.
mhajzsó3 years ago
I made my about an hour ago. I haven't tried it out yet.... Oh and i left out fiberglass.. i thought i won't need it, then i started reading the comments after i made it, and now i know that i msut have fiberglass in it... how can them out of each? Or should i try adding fiberglass trough the holes with a pin?
acurri4 years ago
Can you please tell me how to light it?
Fill the stove with alcohol or whatever fuel you are using. Run a flame under it until it is too hot to touch. This is to get the alcohol to start pouring out of the jets. Light the alcohol fumes that are coming out of the jets.
spottydodz4 years ago
could you use metho
rich28714 years ago
Awesome!, I tried a different instructable the has the top open and eventually vaporizes the fuel (Standard Alcohol Stove) and was unable to get it to light to create the flame jets. This one was so easy, one it was hot enough by running a flame under the bottom to heat the fuel the jets lit with ease. I like this much better than the standard open top one as it is compact and the insulation also helps keep the bottom from getting really hot, mind you i did use a piece of copper chain mail under it as a precaution and heat sink for what ever it is sitting on.
or you could us another flammable liquid like kerosene but that might poison the food.

Oroka5 years ago
Great 'ibble! I am in search of one of those big cans as I type (not being a drinker makes it a little more difficult)! The shape of the can bottom makes for a great stove! Thanks! I'm surprised no one has commented on what looks like you pouring beer out!
it's obviously water being poured out when he was cleaning the inside of the can. You should a (little less than) a dime sized hole in the center of the top of the stove and place a penny over the hole. This allows it that if the pressure gets to be too much, the penny will lift up a little and relieves the pressure. It's called a Penny-Stove. Look it up on google. Oh, and a couple of more pin holes would be better as well.
Arizona cans work great too if you're not a drinker. I like their Mucho Mango! ;)
green tea, fruit punch
I miss arizona, they don't have it here
(lol arizona is made in new york)
Jur4 years ago
I just made one of these out of two 250ml cans, and it kind of worked. I was too lazy to find any fiberglass so I just left that out, and I made 16 holes around the edge hoping to create a jet-flame effect. Then I filled it up properly and lit it in the middle so it would heat up the alcohol enough to evaporate quickly enough for the jet-flame to work. After watching it for a while I decided to go back to the computer to check a couple of other things while waiting for it to start burning properly. After a while I heard a kind of wooshing sound from the kitchen and went back to see what happened. The wooshing was from the fumes igniting and spewing out of the jet-flame holes as expected, though the flames were about 30 cm high and the small explosion had pushed out a good amount of alcohol that was now happily burning away on top of my stove. Luckily it's a gas stove and therefore all metal and designed to withstand fire, so I could just find a small bucket and spill less than half a liter of water on it to put it out with no problem.
Anyone have some idea as to why this happened, or know what I can do to prevent it from happening?
It sounds like the alcohol inside the can lit up. I suggest following the directions and using fiberglass or cotton(or a rag probably, haven't tried it)
Wesley6664 years ago
What also works good for for the top portion is a piston with the rings removed. They usually have holes all the way around where the oil ring goes and if you set it into a salmon can with some alcohol or gasoline they throw a good little flame.
can u use 70%
DenseJungle (author)  stevemonkey225 years ago
just what i wanted to know thanks
Doddity4 years ago
This is so cool! I made one the other day with cotton balls instead of fibreglass and was boiling water and cooking all this morning. Thank you so much!
silver3624 years ago
can you use drinking alcohol (like what used to be in the cans) ?
Dunno if your joking but you can't. The alcohol concentration is way too low. Rubbing alcohol or methylated spirits is usually 98% alcohol as it is pretty much just ethanol
Mudbud4 years ago
i used a dremel to sand it....
DenseJungle (author) 5 years ago
yes cotton works thanx glad you like
you mean like cotton balls ?
TheShaggyDA4 years ago
Sanding is much easier if you do it before the can has been opened, and you're less likely to crumple it, too.
Great For What I Need For My Bug Out Bag
15zhangfra5 years ago
 could i use wood on this? it wouldn't burn as hot initially as alcohol, but it will allow me to reuse the old embers inside. plus it's cheaper lol. 
heat7005 years ago
do u have to scrape the paint off or is it just for looks
wert555 years ago
thanks so much i am going to try it myself. out of all the soda can stove instuctables this is the best. you explained it very well
wert555 years ago
can you use cotton instead awsome idea.
I found that using a push pin with a grip (not like in the pics) in my drill works better and is less painful than poking with your hand.
good little stove. Have you tried a rivet nut for the center fuel hole. allows you to fill it a lot quicker, and still have a nice tight seal. You can see what i have done at

can i use cotton instead fiberglass?
on step 6 you made a pun:so just do the best you "can"
profpat5 years ago
great instructable, i made a similar stove like this a long time ago for my emergency camping needs, i also experimented with different number of jet holes..i made the center pin hole bigger so that alcohol can seep thru faster, and use a small coin or screw to close it.. to extinguish the flame you may use another larger can( like one used for meat loaf) and cover the stove with it. if yor stove wont flame right away, you may need to pre-heat it with some lighted alcohol on top for a few seconds..
Mattrox5 years ago
Great job Looks like you put a lot of effort into your instructables.
demodk5 years ago
Hmmm. I tired cotton with rubbing alcohol and it wouldn't light at all. I'll have to pick up some HEET and some fiberglass insulation at work tomorrow and give that a try.
Great job!!!
vivamexico5 years ago
and how do i turn it off
DenseJungle (author)  vivamexico5 years ago
erm im not sure tbh do you not have any fibre glass in the loft or attic ? it is used as insulation . and you just have to leave it to go out or pour water on it .
nd i kno what fibre glass is
yeah, but being as 14, attics arent the most accesible without drawing attention to myself by bringing a ladder in my house, when my mom is home and being a teacher means the summer is off so thats pretty hard
vivamexico5 years ago
is there anything i can substitute for the fiberglass, besides cotton balls,
peterjacob5 years ago
one of my favorite pocket sized items... BUT!!!
i think it's stolen?!!/
DenseJungle (author)  peterjacob5 years ago
are you trying to say i stole your idea ? take a look around theres plenty of other people with that idea
no no! it's not my idea! i said i THINK it's stolen! im just thinking because i saw it on that vid some years ago.. and i know theres plenty of other people with that idea! and i also said this was one of my favorite pocket sized items! :)